Jane Austen is HOT! I am sure this isn’t news to anyone. Whether an Austen fan or not, unless living on a deserted island for the past 20 years, everyone is aware of the pop culture explosion relating to the English author of six novels who has been dead for two-hundred years. Literary fiction novels, such as my Darcy Saga eight-volume sequel to Pride and Prejudice – see The Novels page for more info - barely scratch the surface of all that is available for the lover of Jane Austen. A rapid Google or Etsy search will prove the point!
Today I thought it would be fun to look at the various cinematic adaptations (movie and TV) of Jane Austen’s novels. I am going to limit myself to straight interpretations rather than the wealth of modern, loosely-based movies, such as Clueless or Lost in Austen (see list at end of post), and I’m not going to belabor MY thoughts. I want to hear what YOU think!
Northanger Abbey has been placed onto the screen only two times, the least of all Austen’s novels. Personally I think this is a shame, since her tongue-in-cheek story of Gothic intrigue and innocent love is a favorite. In 1986 Katharine Schelesinger played Catherine Morland and Peter Firth played Henry Tilney in an 88 minute TV movie on the BBC. A long gap followed until 2007 when Andrew Davies presented his version with Felicity Jones as Catherine and JJ Feild as Mr. Tilney in a 93 minute TV movie on the UK’s ITV channel.
Next in the number of cinema versions is Mansfield Park with three. The BBC in 1983 gave us a 6-episode miniseries starred Sylvestra Le Touzel as Fanny Price and Nicholas Farrell as Edmund Bertram. The 1999 film came next, this one produced by the BBC and Miramax starred Frances O’Connor as Fanny and Jonny Lee Miller as Edmund. Lastly, and most recent, was the 2007 2-hour TV film on ITV with Billie Piper as Fanny and Blake Ritson as Edmund.
Persuasion, Austen’s last published novel, posthumously along with Northanger Abbey in 1817, got it’s first cinematic taste in 1960. A version in 1971 was the next. Neither of these two are as memorable as the more recent offerings. In 1995 the BBC aired a TV movie starring Amanda Root as Anne Elliot and Ciarán Hinds as Captain Frederick Wentworth that was later that same year released theatrically in the US by Sony. In 2007 ITV presented a new version starring Sally Hawkins as Anne and the incredibly sexy Rupert Penry-Jones as Frederick. Okay, I did give a hint as to my preference there!
Sense and Sensibility
Sense and Sensibility ties with Persuasion at four adaptations. 1971 (4 episodes) and 1981 (7 episodes) were TV mini-series on BBC. In 1995 Ang Lee cast Emma Thompson as Elinor Dashwood and Kate Winslet as Marianne Dashwood alongside Hugh Grant as Edward Ferrars and Alan Rickman as Colonel Brandon in a feature film by Columbia Pictures that is, to some, the best of the best. Then came the 2008 BBC TV series starring Hattie Morahan and Charity Wakefield as Elinor and Marianne respectively, with Dan Stevens as Edward, David Morrissey as Brandon, and Dominic Cooper as Willoughby, and suddenly the consensus was not as unanimous!
Six times the story of spoiled, match-making Emma Woodhouse has seen an adaptation made: 1948, 1960, 1972, 1996, and 2009. The most notable, and popular, are the recent versions. Miramax films cast Gwyneth Paltrow as Emma and Jeremy Northam as Mr. Knightley in the highly acclaimed and award winning 1996 theatrical release. A 4-hour treatment on the BBC in 2009 starred Romola Garai as Emma, Jonny Lee Miller as Mr. Knightley, and the brilliant Michael Gambon as Mr. Woodhouse.
Pride and Prejudice
Austen’s most popular novel wins the prize with no less than eight film versions made. First in 1938, then 1940 with the Greer Garson and Laurence Olivier feature film, and again in 1952, 1958, and 1967 on TV. The 1980 BBC 5-episode series starring Elizabeth Garvie as Lizzy Bennet and David Rintoul as Mr. Darcy is to this day a favorite of many. Yes, even more so than the 1995 6-episode BBC mini-series showcasing Jennifer Ehle and Colin Firth, although few argue that Andrew Davies captured something special with his version. Or maybe it was Firth in a wet shirt. Going for a more romantic, realism emphasis, director Joe Wright’s 2005 feature film by Working Title starred Keira Knightley as Lizzy and Matthew Macfadyen as Mr. Darcy, and earned critical acclaim and numerous awards, both in the UK and the US.
How many of these have you seen? Just about all of them can be purchased or rented on DVD or via services like Netflix. Get them all and you could have a Jane Austen movie fest all weekend! Then, when done with that, start on the plethora of movies that have taken the world and characters on Austen, or in some cases Austen herself, into weird and wild places.
The Austen-fun is never ending!
Modern, loosely-based Austen adaptations and inspirations
From Prada to Nada
Scents and Sensibility
The Lizzie Bennet Diaries
Lost in Austen
Bride and Prejudice
Miss Austen Regrets
The Jane Austen Book Club
Bridget Jones’ Diary
Jane Austen in Manhattan
Book Expo America is THE largest event in North America for the publishing industry. Held in New York City, it is a week of packed events for anyone involved with books in any way, including readers. I have never attended a BEA – although my novels have along with my publisher – and I won’t be boarding a jet plane to the East Coast this year either. I doubt most of you are able to attend, or live in the vicinity and can pop in. If you do, let me know how it is and if you spy any copies of The Darcy Saga floating around!
Fortunately for those of us who must stay home, Armchair BEA was created to join in the fun from afar. From the website:
Armchair BEA is the experience for book bloggers to participate in Book Expo America (BEA) from the comfort of their homes. This experience is created lovingly by book bloggers specifically for our peers who for whatever reason are not able to participate in the main conference in New York each year. We bring publishers, authors, and bloggers together in celebrating our love for all things literary by hosting celebrations such as sneak peeks, daily discussion topics, and sponsored giveaways.
I am taking part in the fun as a sponsor and participant, including a giveaway of 3 copies of The Passions of Dr. Darcy. Be sure to check back next week, on Monday May 27, when the event is officially begun. Whoot!
For more information, and a list of the hundreds of bloggers and authors and publishers participating, here are the direct links–
Ever noticed that practically every time you visit Facebook the powers-that-be have changed something? It is impossible to keep up on the constant “improvements” but if you are hanging out on FB once in a while just for fun, it does not matter all that much. In my case, since I use my Facebook author page as my top networking and marketing tool on an equal par with my personal website/blog, being aware of the new stuff is important. Recently a series of discussions on one of the author loops I belong to prompted me to seriously investigate how my Facebook experience could be better. This not only benefits me in reaching new readers, but in interacting with the fans I already have. And to be honest, I really like Facebook and want MY time there to be entertaining!
First off I decided to consolidate my personal profile and professional profile into one. In the process I did a whole lot of friending and unfriending, which felt really weird! Now everyone is all on my author profile – HERE. I learned some tricks in how to create “lists” so I can keep tabs on family and people I personally know through work, church, childhood, etc. Then there are my various author-related contacts who needed to be separated for easier following. Lastly, and just as important, my readers!
Sharon Lathan, novelist
For the latter, utilizing my PAGE and keeping the focus there better serves me, and you. Therefore, while one has to have a “profile” on FB in order to create a PAGE, I won’t spend as much time cross posting to both. My author page – found HERE: https://www.facebook.com/SharonLathanNovelist – is where the biggest action will be. SO, if you want to keep tabs on the Sharon Lathan Happenings, be sure to LIKE my PAGE!
So what is new on my Facebook Author Page? Glad you asked!
1) I recently added a new banner – very cool, I must say. It is the image I use for my bookmarks, created by me using the incredible program Gimp. To make it easy, clicking the banner image leads to an easy link to this website, as does clicking the profile image or the link listed below my name.
2) The best tip of all was learning how to tweak the “tabs” underneath the banner. Admittedly, I have largely ignored those options aside from adding the occasional photo. Wow! Talk about an eye-opener to realize what could be done there! Now I have a bunch of super-neat extras that you have to check out! Simply click the square to access. Only 4 are visible at all times, the others revealed by clicking the tiny arrow to the right.
Let me go over each one, in order of appearance—
PHOTOS: All pages and profiles have this. I went through and updated the albums, especially, and added a ton of new images that I hadn’t gotten around to uploading. All related to my publishing career in some way, and purely for fun and enlightenment.
MEET SHARON: A bio, basically. Much more extensive than what is on the Facebook “about” area, but not as complete as the bio I have here on my website. There are links to my email, Twitter, website, and Austen Authors as well.
BUY MY BOOKS: This page is linked to Amazon. All of my novels are listed with the ratings, a few reviews, the synopsis, and a link to purchase. The “get a free chapter” button connects to The Writers Block where I have sample chapters to read.
CHAT: A new forum for discussion, questions, praise, or anything YOU want to add to interact with me. This page is all about connecting with me! Ask a question… I will answer. I already have two threads ready for a discussion of The Passions of Dr. Darcy. I am waiting to hear from my readers and fans of George! Comment here on my website are abundantly welcomed, naturally, and I will always respond, but since people seem to love cruising on FB, having a chat option right there will be a bonus.
WEBSITE & BLOG: Clicking the linked hearts will instantly transport you to this website. Well, not YOU as in your body – no Star Trek beaming going on! Facebook isn’t THAT cool… yet. But your browser will open automatically open a new page for my website.
NEWSPAPER: Have you seen and subscribed to my daily newspaper History, Romance, & Austen? You are missing out! Each evening a new edition can be delivered to your email inbox, the digital newspaper presented by Paper.li compiled of newsy bits pulled off the internet from sources I have designated. I am focusing on item of Regency and English history, Jane Austen, romance novels, literature in general, and a few other surprises. Clicking this link will show the latest edition for your reading pleasure, and offer you the option of subscribing if you wish.
PORTRAIT GALLERY: Clicking this tab will again take you away from Facebook, opening a new browser page for my fabulous Darcy Saga Portrait Gallery hosted by SmugMug. Literally thousands of pictures inhabit the ten albums in the gallery. There is an album for each novel in the Darcy Saga series, one for Matthew Macfadyen, one for Regency Era items, one for Fashion (Indian and Georgian Era), and the last stills from the 2005 Pride and Prejudice.
MY YOU TUBE: A feed from my YouTube Channel -
www.YouTube.com/SharonLathanNovelist – showing a few of my favorite videos, including my book trailer. More are on YouTube, but these are the ones I really love. An eclectic collective of humor, Austen bits, music videos, and more. I’ll add to this as I uncover videos I love.
MY PINTEREST: Yes, I am on Pinterest! More images I love on a bunch of boards. More Regency images, hot guys, Pride and Prejudice, Jane Austen, funnies, Disneyland, movies, music, and lots lots more. Clicking here will bring up my Pinterest page, and all the boards and pins I have accummulated so far, as well as a link off-Facebook to my Pinterest page.
FAVORITE PLACES: Here on my website I have a comprehensive linking list of wonderful websites and blogs. I encourage everyone to check it out: LINKS. On my Facebook page, this tab opens to a page with a few relevant links, mostly ones to the pages on this website, but also a selection of others. I am sure I’ll add to this from time to time.
I have a few ideas for the other tabs, but haven’t gotten them worked out as yet. The above should keep you busy for a while! Now get over there, “LIKE” my page, and check it out! I’ll be waiting for some Dr. George Darcy discussions!
My wonderful chapter of the Romance Writers of America, the Yosemite Romance Writers in the Central Valley of California, is hosting a one-day writing seminar. I am delighted to share the information for this event we have been working so hard to arrange. Personally I can hardly wait!
If you live anywhere near the Fresno area, or fancy a trip to the base of the High Sierras for the weekend, here are the details–
Fiction Writers Spring Fling
Speaker: Jane Porter
Jane Porter is the bestselling author of 30 novels including 6 for Grand Central Publishing. Jane has been a finalist for the prestigious RITA award from the Romance Writers of America in 2002, 2003, and 2008. Her July 2006 novel - Flirting With Forty - was picked by Redbook as its “Red Hot Summer Read” and after 7 additional printings in just 6 weeks it was made into a December 2006 Lifetime movie starring Heather Locklear.
Date: Saturday, March 9, 2013 10am to 4pm
Location: Ramada Inn, 324 E. Shaw Ave., Fresno CA
Registration: $70 – includes lunch, door prizes, tote bag with gifts, and several books
Website link for info and to register:
This was actually a tough job! There have been so many fabulous gowns in Oscar red carpet history – and a ton of not-so-fabulous as well – so picking a few was impossible. I might have gotten carried away! Enjoy this collage of gowns I particularly adored. It isn’t an exhaustive list by any stretch! And I suppose it will be obvious that I tend to prefer color over bland white or basic black.
I honestly don’t recall the first Oscar broadcast I ever watched. That would probably be because I was so young that I wasn’t sure what I was watching! My mom was a fan of movies, hence where I acquired my love of cinema, so in the Shelly household it was a major EVENT. More than likely I initially expressed enthusiasm because it was a viable excuse to stay up later than usual on a Sunday night. LOL! Growing up in the mountains with the closest theater over 60 miles away and TV reception iffy at the best of times, and during the eras when renting videos wasn’t even a dream to the average person, we rarely knew the movies nominated. Still, the stars were familiar, and of course there were the gowns! Yes, it was the glitz and glamor of the Oscars that drew us in. Eventually, however, I moved to the big city where theaters abounded, and VHS players were invented. My passion for cinema took off, most likely when I saw Star Wars on the big screen!
I can recall many Oscar moments that struck me as ultra special, or funny, or touching, or something. I am going to share a few, and want to hear from you too!
Hands down the best Oscar experience of my life was in 2004 when Return of the King swept the awards with eleven wins, tying Ben Hur and Titanic for the most won by one movie. The accolades heaped upon the brilliant Peter Jackson and his crew was the crowning achievement for The Lord of the Rings trilogy, and was added to the six Oscars won for The Fellowship of the Ring and The Two Towers. As deserved as the movies were, the crazy success and Academy crowning was a long-overdue acknowledgement of the fantasy/sci-fi genre. About time! For me it was a night anticipated with fervor for weeks. Throughout the whole show I was on the phone with my sister Janis, fellow LOTR fanatic since our youth, sharing our giddy squees and boundless joy. It was the ultimate highlight of several years of Tolkien-geek love!
Billy Crystal is my personal favorite host of them all. His movie montage intros are absolutely hysterical! And as a host he was the bomb. Runners up are Johnny Carson and Bob Hope. Next I would say Steve Martin. None of the newer hosts have come close. This clip is from the 76th Academy Awards and combines Billy’s creative montage with my favorite movie.
I loved 74-year-old Jack Palance doing one handed pushups when he won for City Slickers in 1992. Billy Crystal had loads of fun with it all through the show, and let’s face it, the old man proved how tough he is!
Cher wearing Bob Mackie! For several years in a row it was the one and only Cher who set the bar for outrageous Oscar gowns. I can’t say they were looks I liked, but it was something to look forward to in an often boring show.
The great Steven Spielberg finally wins his Oscar in 1994. He deserved the Best Director and/or Movie statuette for The Color Purple (Out of Africa, seriously? Blech!), E. T., Raiders of the Lost Ark, and Close Encounters of the Third Kind if you ask me, but his win for Schindler’s List was phenomenal.
Yes, I cried when an emotional Jane Fonda accepted the Best Actor award for her father, the iconic Henry Fonda. He won for On Golden Pond – a wonderful movie – but was too ill to attend the ceremony. Four months later he died.
It is probably no surprise coming from me, but I adored Sally Field’s exuberant, “You like me! You really like me!” She is just too cute for words, and her happiness came across as completely genuine. Plus, while gushy and high energy, Sally wasn’t over the top or just plain stupid about it. That prize goes to Halle Berry, Cuba Gooding Jr., Roberto Benigni, and Julia Roberts, who were ridiculous.
Wins that I was SO SO happy about–
Jeff Bridges, Best Actor for Crazy Heart – I love Jeff and loved that movie.
Lord of the Rings – Yeah, I already said it but it is worth mentioning again!
Gladiator, Braveheart, Titanic, and American Beauty – Four of my all time favorite movies, EVER, and by far the best in their respective years. I was ecstatic when they won! Seeing Russell Crowe and Kevin Spacey win as well put me over the moon.
Now it is your turn. What are your favorite Oscar wins and ceremony moments? And if you are curious, as I was, who/what has won the top awards since the Oscars began, here is a list: Oscar Winners 1929-2012
As my BIG December giveaway continues on to the end of the month
- ENTER GIVEAWAY HERE – more readers have been sharing their favorite Christmas traditions on the Rafflecopter form. It isn’t fair that I am the only one to see them! Some of the comments left by my awesome visitors I posted a few days back, and they can be read on THIS December 5th post. Here are a bunch more, including a recipe you won’t want to miss! Thanks to everyone who revealed slices of their holiday specialness.
“Make cherry filled bon bon cookies.” ~ Cookies are a popular tradition noted numerous times, but I have to say these sound delicious!
“Spend Christmas morning with the grandchildren.”
“Sing Christmas Carols on Christmas Eve.”
“Opening gifts on Christmas Eve with my family.”
“Go to a candlelight Christmas Eve service at our church. I think my favourite part is when the entire congregation lights their candles and sing Silent Night.” ~ Our church has a wonderful Candlelighting Service on Christmas Eve, so I know precisely what you mean.
“My sister, daughter and I always bake holiday cookies together.”
“Every Christmas Eve we each open a new pair of PJs. It started when I was a baby and never stopped.”
“Pickle ornament hidden on tree with prizes when found.” ~ I love this! Cultural traditions are so interesting.
“Eating pumpkin pie!”
“Hot toddies in front of the Christmas tree.” ~ Ooh! I think I may steal this one!
“Smoked salmon for breakfast.” ~ With cream cheese on a bagel? Oh yeah!
“We wander the countryside and cut down our own fir tree each year.” ~ I did this a few times as a kid. Growing up in the mountains paid off!
“Go to the Holiday Bazaar with my daughter looking for gifts for family and, of course, myself!”
“Putting up the Christmas tree the weekend after Thanksgiving.”
“Decorating the Christmas tree with my whole family.”
“Decorate my house with the Nativity Scene and the Christmas tree with my husband and my sons.”
“Playing bingo for toiletries from my Grandma on Christmas Eve – she calls those numbers FAST for 88!!!” ~ I love this! Made me smile
“Sit in the dark with my lit Christmas tree and listen to Christmas music.” ~ Another one I am going to steal. Nothing like the lights of the tree and no others.
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/3 cup water
3/4 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
Pre-heat oven to 375
Line a jelly roll pan (11×16) with parchment paper and grease generously with shortening.
Beat eggs in small bowl on high speed until very thick and lemon colored (about 5 minutes). Pour eggs into a large mixing bowl. Beat in granulated sugar gradually. Beat in water and vanilla on a low speed. Add flour, baking powder, and salt and mix until batter is smooth. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake until wooden pick in center comes out clean (about 10 to 12 minute – watch carefully!) Immediately loosen cake from edges of pan and invert onto towel genereously sprinkled with powdered sugar. Carefully remove paper from cake. Trim off any stiff edges if necessary. While cake is hot, carefully roll cake and towel from narrow end and place on cooling rack for at least 30 minutes.
1 cup heavy whipping cream
3 Tbl siffed powered sugar
1/2 tsp cinnamon
Whip filling ingredients together until light and frothy (about 5 to 7 minutes).
Unroll cake from towel and spread filling onto cake. Loosely re-roll cake starting at narrow end.
Frost with Dark Chocolate Ready to Frost Frosting in a can (Dark Fudge works best). Once frosted drag fork through the frosing to make it look like bark. Sprinkle lightly with powered sugar. Decorate with Silk\Plastic Holly.
(Tip: To prevent frosting from getting on the plate as you frost, cut strips of waxed paper and tuck around the cake, once frosted remove waxed paper strips)
Enjoy and Happy Holidays to all. Thanks so much, Jennifer!